Relaxshax's Blog

Happy Tiny-House Halloween- A Pumpkin Gazebo/Hut from Newport, Vermont
October 31, 2011, 6:58 am
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      I passed this while up in Vermont this past weekend (Man, was it cold there!). Its a town-park/green gazebo, but boarded up with a Halloween/pumpkin facade- pretty simple, yet clever. Not exactly a small/tiny house, but hey, its about a half step away, and darn fitting, considering today’s date.

Yeah, its not so easy to crawl into a pumpkin….

Happy Halloween to all you (who celebrate it) out there!

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

$11.53- the NEW edition of my book- order it through the left hand column of this blog (amazon link)

Sushi Box- a Shipping Container Restaurant (a fitting model for a micro house) in Texas
October 30, 2011, 9:02 pm
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I’ve been away the last three days in the deep woods of Vermont at my camp/cabin- no running water, no electricity, no computer, and so on- and took a ton of new photos of some of the work we’ve been doing up there (my brother Dustin and I), which I’ll soon share. In the meantime, I had this one saved from earlier in the year and realized I never had posted it.
     All you shipping container/conex box housing fans out there, you’ll love the simplicity of this one. not to mention the affordability, I’m sure- as most used containers this size on run $2000-$3000.
     Containers are a great option to consider if you’re looking into downsizing and building a low-cost micro-home/tiny house. There are an enormous amount of books on the subject now.

Both of my books, “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” and “Quick Camps and Leg Cramps” have Conex Box/Storage Container ideas/sketches/plans in them- and I’ve drafted many more in the meantime, which I’ll get up on the blog eventually.

The SushiBOX Restaraunt is an Eatery That Knows How to Pack it In

The SushiBOX Restaurant brings Japan’s reputation for excellent space efficiency to the downtown core of Austin, Texas.
The compact eatery fits snugly inside a 20’ shipping container that has three sides, which can unfold to create open awnings. Because it was built on a trailer chassis, the SushiBOX restaurant is also potentially mobile, but for now the remarkable (and insulated!) and efficient establishment has no plans to relocate.
The SushiBOX Restaurant was able to open up shop without causing any greenhouse gasses because the business chose to recycle. Using a shipping container as a restaurant is not only eco-friendly, but has the ability to attract many people because of its uniqueness. (Write up from

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

ANOTHER WOVEN WONDER- a huge steel framed bird nest for people
October 29, 2011, 4:35 pm
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I’m REALLY into these type micro-shelters. Granted, they’re more sculpture than functional shetler, but the look is so organic, or in this case, skeletal, that I find them more than interesting. Is it me, or does the overall nest seem to resemble a human skull in its shape? Toss two lanterns in the open “window” area as eyes, and you’re guaranteed to give the little kids in the neighborhood a scare! The firm that designed this goes by the name “Animal Farm”. Pretty amazing stuff….and its re-inspiring me to try out something like this, in more of a tiny house, all weather mode (if possible)….

Grow some ivy, or grapes, on this thing, and it’d be twice as cool….(and tasty! Well, not the ivy)

Order the NEW edition of our book in the left hand column of this blog…

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

A birds nest meets a hanging hut for humans!? Woven Relax-Pods
October 27, 2011, 9:51 pm
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      I have a few sketches of something like this in my old notebooks, but of course, I found out that something similar has already been done, and done well! I love it- one of the cooler micro-shelters I’ve seen in some time- shelter meets furniture (although good luck in the rain (its not meant for overnighting really, or all weather))

“Dedron” is the only listed designer I can find…..this would make for an amazing, classy little treehouse/tree fort though.

Two of the four branches shown will not be holding the weight of any humans, but some GREAT photos/displays, regardless….

 I spotted this originally at

The NEW edition of my book- $11.53- order in the left hand column of this blog…
-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Junk, Yard Sale, Spoons as handles/pulls for your cabin, home, kitchen….
October 27, 2011, 9:14 am
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     I’ve seen many variations of this, and have messed with an assortment of makeshift, recycled-material, handles, but here are a few photos, from an article in, that illustrates the basic idea very well. Talk about cheap and easy! I JUST sold a huge box of silverware (not ACTUALLY silver) at a yard sale for $1.00. Man….  (thanks to Jon Kalish- NPR host for sending this one over).

You come across spare utensils ALL the time though, and chances are, you already have a few strays, and mismatched ones kicking around. For some other cool recycling ideas, check out

This simple idea, as well as branch handles, mason tools, and so on, could be easily employed into your own home, kids fort, of tiny house project- and its very wallet friendly, while adding some charm, and making for a conversation piece.

Only $11.53- Out on pre-order now- check the left hand column of this blog to order…
-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

A photo gallery of unique street art- ideas and color-work for my future tiny house projects
October 26, 2011, 7:05 pm
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For the simple sake of color, design, ideas, and who-knows-what (?) inspiration, here’s a gallery of some wall mural/graffiti art I shot while Dustin and I were out in Brooklyn, NY building a micro-hut for The History Channel’s new show “The United STATS of America”– The episode will air early in 2012. Again, I’m told I’m not supposed to show any photos of what we built until the episode airs

I’ve long wanted to build a camouflaged urban hut, completely bombed with street art and chaotic krylon work…so every time I come across this stuff, I snap some pics for future reference.

The basic idea would be to make a small, outlaw dwelling, that doesn’t look like a shelter/room from the exterior, whether it be on a rooftop, on/off a balcony, or in an alleyway- for experiment’s sake.

My book- NEW EDITION- $11.53- left hand column of this blog, to order/check it out.

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

TOOL RULES #1 "THOU SHALL NOT"- when building your house/tiny house/whatever
October 26, 2011, 2:47 pm
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Another post is coming tonight- this is just one mini post for now….


This is NOT a sponsored review or plug, and the first of series of “Thou shall/shall not” pointers. These are additional, often overlooked rules and tips to keep in mind when building your own small house, or for any construction/carpentry project. I was shipped out to NYC a few weekends ago as a guest speaker for Jay Shafer’s Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop and this was one of the things that was incorporated in my 90 minute presentation- we had fun with it, and many in the audience chimed in with their own “self-learned” tips as well- some which I’ll share down the road.

This is my way of saving YOU some time and hassle, as I’ve learned many things the hard way in my 20+ years of tiny structure building…..


WHILE I’M A THRIFTY GUY, AND HELD OUT FOR TOO LONG ON THIS ONE (I’ve only realize the severe error of my ways more recently)- “THOU SHALL NOT CHEAP OUT WHEN BUYING A HAND SAW”. There ARE many things you can buy the low-end bargain versions of (covered in other future rules), but this, I feel, is not one of them.

Wanna tire out prematurely while on the job and later have your arm feel like an elephant sat on it? Go ahead, use that rusted, dull, cheapo saw. On the other hand. if you want to cut through wood like butter (you won’t realize the difference until you go from a cruddy old average saw to a new, higher-end one) then consider at least getting a middle of the road tool for your cutting jobs.

I personally TRY to not use power tools when I can help it (although they are incredibly helpful!)- I just don’t want their interuptive noise when I’m in some peaceful outdoor setting out in the middle of the woods (for jobs in those style locales).

But seriously, a $3.99 Harbor Freight saw just isn’t going to cut it. Some of their other tools WILL, but opt for a decent enough hand saw. Your arm, your time, your patience, and ultimately, your project, will thank you for it.

Mine, its the Stanley Fat Max Saw (Armored version)- not too expensive, and cuts very nicely. Please do share your personal recommendations and choices below, or in our facebook tiny housing group (which you can join in the right hand column of this blog).

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen